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Yeasty beasties

Sourdough bread, yes please. Beer, yup. Funky dog ears…my favorite! Well, I don’t love dogs having uncomfortable ear infections, but I do find it fulfilling to help them feel better.

Ear infections, hot spots, itchy skin, licky toes, you name it, they almost always stem from allergies. Though they show up in slightly different ways, it all comes down to a breakdown and subsequent infection at the organ system stretched over our four-legged friends, the integumentary system, a.k.a. The Skin. It’s where bugs like to party.

The yeast party — and bacteria like to invite themselves — starts with some sort of protein exposure that the body overreacts to (an allergic reaction) showing up as redness, puffiness, itch, etc. Microscopically, there are changes to the natural defenses in pH, oils, etc. which then opens them up to the afterparty of infection. That’s usually when things get funky, with yeasty smells, discomfort and gunky discharge.

The steps for treatment usually involve testing to see what bug is in there (yeast vs. bacteria), treating that specific bug, and then going on a hunt for the underlying allergy. The list of usual suspects is quite short: fleas, food or environment. The process of elimination takes time, but with your vet’s help, there are effective, long-term ways to keep your pet comfortable…and break up the yeasty beasty party.


In partnership with Willamette Veterinary Hospital

& Ark Animal Hospital

Josiah Moses, DVM Eastgate Veterinary Clinic


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